Saturday, October 15, 2005

Back from Sligo: Without a Fridge Named Saoirse

Spent the last two weeks commuting back and forth from here to Sligo, on a psych attachment there. Sligo is a small little place, made liveable by the Sligo Higher Institute of Technology, affectionately known as SHIT. At least it's not shite! Lovely little roads to run around on leading to just about nowhere. Apparently however, a nice day in Sligo is a day it doesn't rain, as I was told it's a lovely day on two consecutive cloudy overcast gray days, which evidently were lovely by Sligo standards. It's all relative I suppose. And not to complain, but I am a little curious about the trains in Ireland. What is the story with a return fare costing the same as a single? And just what does the money go for? Is it the classy carriages? Why couldn't they put in some doors that you don't have to stick your hand outside the window to open? It makes me think I am in the wild west gettin off a train in Ireland, goin back 50 years to 1950... This is a little off topic, but my trip to Sligo did have two very interesting revelations about Ireland and roads.

First, I found out the meaning of the song about the N17. For those of you who haven't spent any time in an Irish country disco, the song says, wish I was on the N seventeen, etc etc. Now why would anyone write a song about a road? Well, turns out it's the road from Galway to Shannon, and it's a bit of an emigration anthem... ahem.

The second revelation came as I was gettin my hair cut by a barber on North Earl Street in Dublin, so not technically a Sligo based revelation. In any case, he was telling me about the emergency, during world war II. The government was so concerned about Germans landing here that all the road signs were taken down. Nowhere, anywhere had road signs, you simply had to know where you were going. This might explain why these days it is so bloody hard to find a road sign. I thought it was something to do with the U2 song "where the streets have no name"but it was all about the emergency in world war II.

Also finally found a place to live, nice place by the sea in Portmarnock. Will ride in to city, only 45 minutes cycle... All the looking around though. Spent ages on it really is daft. Got lost looking for a place in Beaumont area, some place called Ardmore with an housing estate with like five streets named Ardmore Drive, Place, Park, Grove, and Close. Of course, I have to walk down every single one because they are poorly signposted, and only three of the five have actual signposts... And this is an estate built post 1950, so the whole world war II explanation doesn't cut much slack for this oversight in roadway nomenclature. Speaking of which, I will have to devote another blog to the phenomenon of the Irish housing estate!

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